Idealism paints the picture of a benevolent universe. It tells us that there is nothing to worry about and that everything will be okay. For idealism, the basis for hope lies in the goodness of the world.
Optimism paints the picture of man as a self-determined entity. It tells us that there are plenty of things wrong with the world, but that we have the power to respond to all situations with creativity and intelligence. For optimism, the basis for hope lies in the resilience of the human spirit.
I am not an idealist. I am an optimist.
That means I believe the following things:
Sometimes life stinks. Sometimes things are difficult. Sometimes we don’t get our way. Sometimes we suffer pain. Sometimes we lose. Sometimes we have bad days. Sometimes the world appears unfair.
Nevertheless, we can handle it. We can handle it, not because our problems are too small to threaten us, but because our capacity to adapt, evolve, and create is too great to be denied.